nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒14
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Pre-release leaks as one-time incentives for switching to unauthorised sources of cultural content By Wojciech Hardy
  2. Superstars in Team Sports: An Economic Model By Harashima, Taiji
  3. Somatic distance, cultural affinities, trust and trade By Melitz, Jacques; Toubal, Farid

  1. By: Wojciech Hardy
    Abstract: Pre-release leaks of cultural content incentivise consumers to look for unauthorised sources. I find that such events may induce some television viewers to switch to unauthorised sources to gain access even to content that had not been leaked. To demonstrate that this is the case, I use a unique dataset on a sample of TV shows aired around the time of a pre-release leak of a very popular TV show (Game of Thrones). The results of a difference-in-differences analysis indicate that the leaked TV show lost viewership for both the leaked episodes and those that followed. Moreover, the event also had negative effects for other TV shows that may share an audience with the leaked show. Finally, my results for the shows with a shared audience are corroborated by evidence of an increase in Google searches for phrases including the show names and the words “watch online”, after the leak. I argue that the one-time incentive to use unauthorised sources caused some viewers to engage in unauthorised consumption even of shows not affected directly by the leak. These conclusions are consistent with the existence of one-time costs of switching channels of content acquisition.
    Keywords: file-sharing, copyright, intellectual property rights, tv, piracy, Game of Thrones
    JEL: D12 K42 L82 O34 Z11
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: Harashima, Taiji
    Abstract: In professional sports, superstars can earn extremely high incomes compared with those of other players. The existence of superstars in team sports is interesting because, unlike in individual sports, it is the teams that compete, not the individual players. This paper examines the mechanism of how an individual player can be a superstar even in the context of team sports. The key to the mechanism is that the probability of winning differs tremendously depending on whether or not a team has top-ranked players (i.e., those with relatively high abilities). This factor, combined with the effect of ranking preference, means that the salaries of players increase exponentially from the bottom- to the top-ranked player. As a result, a top-ranked player can be a superstar even in team sports.
    Keywords: Superstar; Team sport; Income inequality; Ranking Value; Ranking preference; Monopoly; Monopoly profit
    JEL: D31 D42 D63 J30 L83
    Date: 2018–04–26
  3. By: Melitz, Jacques; Toubal, Farid
    Abstract: Somatic distance, or differences in physical appearance, proves to be extremely important in the gravity model of bilateral trade in conformity with results in other areas of economics and outside of it in the social sciences. This is also true quite independently of survey evidence about bilateral trust. These findings are obtained in a sample of the 15 members of the European Economic Association in 1996. Robustness tests also show that somatic distance has a more reliable influence on bilateral trade than the other cultural variables. The article finally discusses the interpretation and the breadth of application of these results.
    Keywords: Bilateral Trade; Cultural interactions; Language; Somatic distance; Trust
    JEL: F10 F40 Z10
    Date: 2018–04

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